Avoid These Disciplinary Mistakes

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Are you making these disciplinary mistakes? If so, you may be creating a worse situation with your employees.

Correcting unacceptable behavior and performance is a part of a leader’s responsibilities. But as a leader, when you don’t do it well, you’ll end up more frustrated than before you started.

So, let’s take a look at the top mistakes that leaders make when conducting a disciplinary conversation.

1. Poor preparation. Be sure to take a few minutes to gather your documentation and evidence so that you can communicate the problem correctly and fully with the employee.

2. Fuzzy expectations. It’s important to be clear about what you want, when you want it, and why.

3. Lecturing versus engaging. Ask questions so that the employee stays engaged during the discussion. That could include a question about impact, or it could be a question about how the employee will solve the problem.

4. Getting off track. Many leaders, in a spirit of trying to be helpful, end up agreeing to more action items than the employee does. Unless the employee raises information you weren’t aware of, you should stick to your agenda.

5. Focusing on others. Some employees will claim that other employees are also demonstrating the unacceptable behavior. Avoid telling one employee what you might do to other team members; stay focused on the employee in front of you.

6. Being too negative. Avoid letting your tone get too aggressive. Remember that the intent is to change the behavior, not punish it. Convey your positive intent that the employee can and will meet your expectations in the future.

By avoiding the pitfalls of conducting a disciplinary meeting, you as a leader will increase the probability that the employee will change their behavior and meet your expectations. Share on X

How do you ensure, as a leader, that you’re approaching disciplinary talks properly?